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Mirror Cracked

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What if the perfect life is threatened by absolute betrayal? If control is cruelly wrenched away? How does one survive? This a story of love, betrayal, hope and surrender.
Azraa Hassim is a strong, modern, Muslim woman, successful in her professional and personal life. She is confident and driven to provide the best life for her husband, herself, and their two daughters. This is made impossible when she is shattered by a revelation: her husband loves another. His betrayal destroys her. She questions her identity, her beliefs, her relationships … her entire life.
She is pushed to breaking point when her youngest child becomes terminally ill. Azraa must conjure up all her strength to hold onto herself long enough to get through this tremulous storm. If she does not, everything that she knew to be true about herself may be lost to the cracks of time, forever disjointing the image reflected back to her from the mirror.

320 pages, Paperback

Published July 17, 2018

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About the author

Raashida Khan

8 books24 followers
Raashida Khan is a content creator, author, poet, wife, mother and friend – a unicorn that does exist. As a caring, compassionate and empathetic person who loves observing people and life, she is a storyteller of note. She would like to be remembered as ‘never boring.’

She is 48 and was born in Durban (her favourite city), where she lived for twenty-seven years before moving to Johannesburg. She studied at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal qualifying with a BA Hons (Economic History).

Her short story Your Voice, My Strength was selected as the winning entry for the 2017 South African Muslim Women’s Short Story Competition. She plans to self-publish an anthology of poetry and her novel, Fragrance of Forgiveness, her labour of love. In the meanwhile, she is writing her second novel and continues penning emotional, emotive poetry and the occasional social commentary blog.

Read her writings and musings at www.raashisreflections.com

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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Lorraine.
443 reviews147 followers
November 18, 2019
This is a story of Azraa and Fareed, a Muslim couple who've been together for almost 19 years and have two daughters. In the normal course of their everyday life, a hug putd their life together and lives as individuals on a difficult and unknown trajectory.

While navigating that roadblock, the family is struck by tragedy of unimaginable proportions.

Raashida lets this story unfold over two years and she invites us, readers, on Azraa and Faheed's journey. This journey of living in their world and experiencing every little triumph and huge failures forces us, the readers, to invest a huge chunk of our emotions. I was angry at Fareed, then upset then emphatic because he had a difficult choice to make which was going to impact the lives of all those around him. My heart broke for Azraa then waited with breath held for her decision. Her reconciliatory gesture angered me so much I was in danger of bursting an artery. Then I had questions. So many questions.

Why is it always the injured party's responsibility to hold a secret? Keep is the right word but in this instance, Azraa was the holder. The holder of the family. The holder of the sanctity of their union. The holder of their girls.

Raashida tackles what I thought were taboos within Muslim communities. Such a brave narrative opening up a full Pandora's box of "nobody talks about it ever" and "...a good Muslim woman does/doesn't...".

Mirror Cracked will evoke a prism of emotions. According to superstition, if you crack a mirror, you are going to have 7 years of bad luck. The clever use of language, particularly the displacement in the title, instead if Cracked Mirror, is indicative of the destruction each shard represented and the frayed illusion that Azraa held till her disintegration forced her to have a closer look at her life in its entirety.

My only concern was the hypersexualized nature of Zack and Fareed. It gave the relationship a fleeting status. Flimsy like it was not important.

All in all, a good read giving a slice of life of a Muslim family in contemporary South Africa.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Andrew.
89 reviews13 followers
November 24, 2019
Azraa and Fareed Hassim. A married couple who balance their successful careers with their Muslim beliefs. Their two daughters are a combination of Azraa’s modern view of Muslim Womanhood, and Fareed’s more traditional outlook of family duty and loyalty. Nothing can prepare either husband or wife for the maelstrom that is about to rip their relationship, their family, their very essence, apart.

At its core, ‘Mirror Cracked’ is a novel about relationships and discovery, a book that examines what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ and is not afraid to challenge the reader in blurring the line between the two. Khan has created two lead characters who display their strength in the unavoidable turmoil embracing them and still somehow gives them the vulnerability that makes them real, believable and worthy of the reader’s empathy.

The context of the book – set in a Muslim community in Cape Town, South Africa – may be foreign to many of Khan’s international readers but she nevertheless manages to make the world within the book come to life through the deft descriptions that betray the eye of a talented observer. Indeed, the reader finishes the novel with a sense that they have been part of the broader life of the Hassim family, rather than merely external witness to select events.

‘Mirror Cracked’ is one of those rare books that is not afraid to challenge its reader – through the immense challenges facing its protagonists – and yet remains wonderfully, immersibly readable. In short, it is a book that needs to be read.
Profile Image for Wikus Fourie.
1 review
September 4, 2018
Mirror Cracked by Raashida Khan
A book review by Wikus Fourie

Mirror Cracked is an intriguing story right from its title, as the unexpected word order (as opposed to ‘Cracked Mirror’) brings to life more than just a description of the life of the main character, Azraa Hassim; and her response to events beyond her control. It is successful in suggesting a significant turning point, or rather series of turning points as one journeys through the beautifully-written prose. The chapters are told from the different viewpoints of the characters, which the author effectively uses to bind the story together as a whole. It allows us a peek into the lives of those affected by the botched reflection of how they once knew life, how it all used to make sense, and even how they so desired it could still be.

The story is mainly told from the perspective of the two very believable main characters, Azraa and her husband, Fareed Suleman, as well as Zack, who becomes a pivotal and persistent source of conflict to these main characters. I think that the way in which the characters are portrayed and their stories are told, allows for the reader to associate with them within the context of their own life experiences and personal insights. And so one might find oneself sympathetic to the cause of the intended antagonist, or sometimes even dismissive of the protagonist – which makes for an awakening when one discovers heart-felt emotional responses towards the characters.

Although this is a fictional work, the collection of events is very realistically told, and I believe it evidences the author’s ability to enrich tales from her vivid and radical imagination with fragments of a topical modern-day society: the struggle for autonomy in a relationship, fear of rejection or desire for acceptance, loss, reckless love, healing lust… the list goes on – there’s something that will hit home for every reader.

Mirror Cracked is a comfortable read - written in easy, everyday-vocabulary which I believe brings about much needed balance to the torment one comes to experience as the story unfolds. A definite page-turner right up until the very resolve which presents a brief silver lining, while setting the stage for a curious set of possible events. The promised sequel is eagerly-awaited.
August 9, 2020
I was hooked by 'Mirror Cracked' as soon as I started reading. Raashida Khan's prose is very well written, easy to read and succeeds in drawing one into the story effortlessly. It deals with taboo topics, things that are not generally accepted in the community she writes about, so hats off to her for the courage to tackle that. But more than that, she manages to draw the reader into the emotional world of the characters so well, that one can feel their pain and desperation. The story is a tragic one, and the emotional trajectory of the protagonists through their journey of near impossible dilemmas is very successfully achieved. The unique culture and social milieu of the characters is also richly described and welcome in a literary landscape that doesn't often tell these stories. Highly recommended.
1 review
October 8, 2018

This is a well written narrative with a difference and is recommended for adult reading.
A highly emotive, controversial story that will open conversations, once read. I admire that the author had the courage to tackle a topic that is largely swept under the carpet by many communities. I agree that it needs to be talked about, no matter how hurtful, hateful or ugly it may seem.
The narrative covers many themes; infidelity, betrayal, anger, anxiety, deep love for spouse and children, death of loved ones and the resilience of women.
The pace is slow, with the inciting incident popping up on page 62, giving a slight hint of the betrayal that was to follow.
Two men hugged, and intimate feelings were aroused. For the one man, it was a shock awakening that rocked his otherwise happy world. This was the first crack in his marriage. These feelings hit him with full force, leaving him confused and troubled.
The author expertly covers aspects such as the development of the back stories, characterisation of the secondary characters, mundane everyday activities of the family etc.
Initially the narrative focuses on introducing the principal characters, Fareed, Azraa and Zack as well as secondary characters like Munira, Rob, Halima and others as they are slowly woven into the fabric of the narrative while tracking their everyday life styles.
The courage of this author in writing this path-breaking book on a controversial subject is to be applauded. She is fearless and passionate about bringing it out into the open to create awareness.
While on holiday in Paris, Azraa hears her husband on the phone in a sexually charged conversation with a man. This was a shocking, heart rendering betrayal from a man she loved dearly!
The author excavates the deepest feelings that a man can have for another man as witnessed during a phone conversation between the two antagonists. Yet another telephone conversation between them reveals graphic, physical details of the hunger, passion and need that exists in a bisexual person for another man. One wonders why this is so, especially when in this case, he is happily married to a beautiful woman who had everything a man could ever want in a woman. What could possibly have been lacking in their marriage?
Azraa suffers this deceit in every possible way, physically and mentally. The loss of her daughter further adds to the trauma, as she becomes a broken soul, with crushed dreams.
In the end a decision had to be made and she had the courage to make it, and thereafter take one day at a time.
This narrative will make you ponder over unanswered questions, and opens conversations;
• Is there a specific time in a person’s life when he realises he has these feelings? Why did Fareed not recognise these sooner?
• Is this a God-given trait?
• Was his marriage to a woman not fulfilling enough? What was lacking?
• Is it possible that one could overcome these feelings?
• What are the signs to look out for? How do you recognise that the man you are marrying may have these hidden traits?
• One is bound to ask; Am I married to a straight man? Should I be concerned that I may also find out later that he is not straight?
• Is it his fault that he has these tendencies or is it something God has imposed on him?
• Should she have forgiven him and saved her marriage?
• What was there to forgive him for? After all, he wasn’t even aware that he possessed these feeling. Was she being unfair or lacked understanding of this complex situation?
• Is it even remotely possible that he would have changed if she had forgiven him? How would he have buried these feelings?
• Would she not have lived in constant anxiety of what he was doing and thinking, where he was, and who he was with etc?
• Through no fault of her own Azaara bears the brunt of the suffering and makes the ultimate sacrifice to be able to move on.
Thank you for this opportunity Raashida. I enjoyed the read. Awaiting the sequel.

June 26, 2020
As a reader, an aspiring writer, communication specialist and life coach. I believe this book speaks volumes.

The story unfolds and has you hooked! As a Muslim female, I can relate to the ideals these books unpack; aspects that are often not discussed in society. When hit with tragedy after tragedy this book reminds you about the daily challenges we each experience. The key fundamentals are strong and in words Raashida explains feelings that can only be felt.
From betrayal to tragedy I could find myself relating to each character that Raashida describes. You have to read it to see for yourself.
This is an excellent read!

I knew there was a reason I found Raashida Khan. An inspirational writer and woman!
64 reviews10 followers
December 10, 2018
I have been meaning to recommend this book for a while and I will write a proper review soon. I want to highly recommend Mirror Cracked by Raashida Khan. This was our book club pick of the month to celebrate heritage month. Because it was a local author I decided to invite her along and honestly it was the most stimulating and interesting conversation that we have had to date. Mirror cracked was not an easy read for our book club, it touches on a taboo topic and while many admitted to feeling uncomfortable while reading it, they were however thoroughly invested in Raashida's intriguing, sobering and jaw dropping story. Raashida did an excellent job of really drawing you in by not only a good story but also by her larger than life and dynamic characters. This book is one of my top picks for 2018 and will probably be your most talked about book this year. Also what was great was that our book club got an all round experience because of the discussion they could have with the author by discussing certain parts of the book.

The next part of this book comes out early 2019 so I highly recommend that you put this book on top of your TBR pile for the holidays. You won't regret it!
1 review
December 12, 2018
The Mirror Cracked
Long and sharp was the crack ,
Relationships asunder
One can only wonder
How much the human spirit can take.
If the earth shakes below
Your feet ,
And you lose those you love ,
Will you lose faith in
God above .
Will you still have faith
In yourself
And all you stand for.
When your life seems shattered ,
Broken and battered.
Will you remain strong ,
In spirit and thought ?
Yes , you will
Be authentic
and nothing
Can take away -
The real you.
The world may shift
and change ,
You owe it to yourself
To be true to
Your mirror will
Still reflect
Strong Powerful

Here’s to you ,Rashida ❤️
I loved your book. With all the publicity it has received , I was afraid I might be disappointed.
However ,
The characters were strong ,
and real.
Human frailty
and strength .
I loved the fact that you delved deep
Into the emotional states of the various key characters in this book so that the reader could get into their psyche.
Well done.
The poet in me loved the poetry - heart rending and true I look forward to the sequel.
Sarita Mathur
January 21, 2020
Raashida writes with a bold authenticity challenging stereotypes and prejudices in a generally conservative culture. Her vivid description, character portrayal and raw emotion, immersed me completely into the home and lives of the Suleman's, a 'modern', South African Indian, Muslim family, with very real issues.
I was blown away by the level of detail contained in the novel, yet it also so smoothly manages to develop at a beautiful, suspenseful, 'can't put down' pace.
I laughed, I cried, I admired, I questioned my own life.
Mirror Cracked is a gem that speaks to the heart of the heart and the very real pain that accompanies this journey we call life. An absolute privilege to have become part of the Suleman's lives.
December 28, 2018
The book gripped me for the first page and tweaked my curiosity. I couldn't wait to see how the story turns out. Raashida has touched on a taboo topic in the Indian and more so the Muslim community. I felt the descriptions somewhat graphic, but then I am on the "old fashioned / school" side. So in summing up, a great read, one that has you racing to get to the end to see how it pans out. Gripping and thought provoking. Brilliantly written considering the sensitivity of the topic.
2 reviews
September 14, 2018
I have just finished reading Mirror Cracked and I cannot wait for the sequel Fragrance of Forgiveness.  Mirror Cracked was utterly compelling... I could not put it down.  I was drawn into the lives of the three main characters almost immediately.  The book spoke to me with regards to what we whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Black, White or Purple face today and everyday. 
2 reviews
March 22, 2019
Raashi Khan has perfectly captured emotions such as hurt, pain, anger, suffering and betrayal in a simple reader friendly manner that in turn connected with my heart and mind. I was completely engrossed into her book in the first few pages. I was drawn to each of her characters and could identify with all of them as well as the pain and turmoil they felt.

A really good read!
6 reviews1 follower
June 11, 2020
Riveting and captivating

I enjoyed the style and pace of the book. A quick and interesting story. Can't wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Khalida.
15 reviews9 followers
January 4, 2021
When I saw another book by a South African Muslim author I assumed it would follow the same format of troubled lives glossed over and the re-discovery of faith which often leads to a happy ending.
That never happened with Mirror Cracked! It shocked me out of my assumptions. So much so that I had to immediately message Khan and apologise for my pre-conceived notions (which I had not voiced but felt guilty of even thinking).
This debut novel treads where few have ventured. It addresses themes of grief, infidelity, faith and sexuality in all the ugly rawness which usually gets swept under the carpet in our little Indian community. The taboo of same sex relationships which are only whispered is explored openly without any attempt to mollify the readership.
I found the character's voices to be authentic and loved the varied perspectives that each bring to the story. Azraa, Fareed and Zack are you, me ...the people we know and love. Mirror Cracked left me with a desire to know more about their futures which follows in the sequel Fragrance of Forgiveness.
2 reviews
Want to read
January 22, 2021
This book is enthralling, once you start you don't want to put it down until you know the book is complete. Then the waiting starts to read the sequel!!!
Raashida Khan is a phenomenal author whos writing grips you and you actually feel like you are apart of everything you read.
The story makes you laugh and cry. One can easily get emotional ❤
3 reviews
March 20, 2019
Hey Raashi

Completed your novel mirror cracked ....
Awesome reading ...your simple easy to follow style of writing ....every incident flows through in sync.

My highest respect to you. The topic obviously requires an open non judgmental mindset .

Although I do not condone gay society and behaviour but it's a sad reality of life .
My colleague from previous company married a guy whom months later found out he was gay .. it's truly was hurtful and discouraging to move on. She is still single and focused her attention to her nieces and family ...luckily there were no kids and they divorced.

I think azraa is in every woman.
Despite the different roles woman portray ultimately it's about everyone else but themselves .

I'm not the type for Mills n boons ...prefer novels that are thought provoking and troubles the mind to think ..I've always been the suspense adventurous n thriller type novels ...so reading your novel was really brilliant .

My only negative comment was the initial few chapters as I felt it mundane but obviously needed in order to introduce the characters but the introduction of Zack aroused curiosity and never a dull moment .

I read the novel taking breaks in between as I did not want to complete it too soon as I would have finish reading by Sunday 😁😁
I preferred reading taking time off to absorb thereafter continue . Started with fragrance of forgiveness...somewhat catch on to the essence but definitely worth the read and curious to know the outcome of Zack n Fareed . I really despise Fareed though but I guess it was beyond his control
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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